Chapter 229 – Strife over Ishikawa University ⑥
The name displayed on the smartphone’s screen is ― Yataro.
“Shion speaking. What’s up?”
『Shion-sama! It’s terrible!』
Yataro’s voice on the other end of the line sounds panicked.
『Invasion! We are being invaded!』
“Did they already find out?”
I came up with a possible worst-case scenario. That scenario assumes Kaoru invading multiple sectors at once. I’ve significantly lowered the number of defenders in the sectors I’ve planned to offer to Kaoru. I’ve expected the invasion to need time since I’ve turned the sectors into labyrinths, but…if Kaoru has read my aim, his most efficient option would be to simultaneously invade several sectors.
I ponder whether I should split up my forces and let Izayoi, whom I’m currently having at my side, go back to prevent Kaoru’s invasion.
『No, that’s not what I meant!』
“What do you mean then?”
『We’re being invaded at the 127th sector!』
Currently the number of my sectors easily exceeds 200. I can grasp the location of my first sectors such as the first sector in Kanezawa, but…where’s the 127th?
『The 127th sector is being invaded by humans from Toyama through Oyabe!』
I get what Yataro is telling me in an instant, but since my instinct can’t catch up with it, I inadvertently let a silly grunt escape my lips. And then I fully realize the seriousness of the situation.
Fuck! How dare they!
“What kind of enemies are we dealing with?”
『Going by their equipment and the rate they’re slaughtering ghouls…high-level humans!』
This is the worst… I’ve taken the Kanezawa Liberation Army too lightly. It’s almost unthinkable that high-leveled humans from Toyama Prefecture would start an invasion at this time by coincidence.
Kaoru and I, or to rephrase, us fellow Demon Kings have a hostile relationship. But, the humans of the Ishikawa Prefecture and those of the Toyama Prefecture are allies. This difference has a major impact.
I can’t get in contact with other Demon Kings, and something like working together would be absurd. However, humans can work together even if they live in different areas.
For a Demon King everyone outside their rule registers as an enemy. But, humans can take the hands of other humans, and help each other.
“Will you be able to fend them off if I send back Izayoi?”
My 《Reign》 still requires three hours to finish. Even if the humans were to advance at a steady pace, they might not be able to reach the 【True Core】. But, if it becomes known that our combat forces drop sharply during the time when we’re fighting the Kanezawa Liberation Army…I fear that a great number of sectors will be liberated while we’re invading Nonoichi’s City Hall.
If a sector is stolen by a Demon King, I simply need to steal it back, but…if it’s once liberated by humans, it’ll reduce the CP I can gain from it even if I steal it back later. Therefore it’s necessary to intercept these opponents so gruesomely that their minds are going to break from it.
『If it’s alright for me to also throw the reserve forces we prepared for the invasion at them…it might be possible to fend them off』
“You have my permission. I’ll also send back Izayoi right away.”
『Would it be difficult for me to borrow Saburou and Seta?』
“Are the enemies so strong?”
『Yes, they are… They are strong enough to profit from me foolishly sending ghouls at them. I might be able to defend the sector if I dispatch the elites of the reserves, but…the burden on Izayoi will be too high』
“Saburou and Setanta, huh…?”
Yataro has been evasive, but he probably wants to tell me that he can’t guarantee that Izayoi would survive the encounter. Izayoi, Saburou, and Setanta are quite compatible with each other, allowing them to work together well. If it’s Kaoru, I can estimate the combat forces to a certain extent, but when it comes to the humans of the Toyama Prefecture, their numbers and abilities are shrouded in mystery. If we show weakness here, many of our sectors will be attacked at the same time as we attack Nonoichi’s City Hall, raising the possibility of many sectors being liberated.
“I got it. Wait a moment.”
I finish the call with Yataro, and call out to Kotetsu.
――Kotetsu, sorry to disturb you during battle, but is it possible for me to borrow Setanta?
After waiting for around ten seconds, the melody informing me of Kotetsu’s call plays on my smartphone.
『Did something happen?』
“We’re being invaded by Toyama’s humans at a sector adjoining Oyabe.”
“O-Oh no… Okay… It’s no problem for me to send Seta over to defend, but…I have another idea.”
『Yes. How about using my disciples ― the residents who stayed behind in the Domain?』
“Use the residents? The enemies are human, you know? Is that okay?”
『Including my disciples…many humans have resolved themselves to protect Aster Empire. Please bring up the topic with Yamada, one of my pupils, while mentioning my name』
“Yamada…okay, got it.”
『Shion-sama, sorry for saying something selfish next, but…for my disciples――』
“I know. I’ll make them defend only after giving them the best equipment.”
『You have my gratitude. Well then, I’m in the middle of battle, so please excuse me』
After ending the call with Kotetsu, I called Yataro.
“Yataro, get in contact with Yamada, a disciple of Kotetsu who’s stayed behind in the Domain.”
“Correct. According to Kotetsu, many residents are willing to fight for the Aster Empire, including Yamada.”
『I see. I’ll immediately contact Mrs. Tamura, and confirm it with her』
“I give you permission to provide the residents with equipment of the Orichalcum Series which I put aside as spares. I’ll have Izayoi join the defense for good measure, but if it becomes dangerous, contact me at once.”
『Har har, as you command. Please excuse me then』
For the moment we’ve escaped danger thanks to Kotetsu’s clever idea.
Indeed… I can’t take residents outside the Domain unless I turn them into bloodkin, but I guess they can work on defense. I was forced to realize something I had overlooked. (T/N: Author forgot he considered this already during the infrastructure arc, but whatever)
I’ll take this opportunity to judge whether residents are useful in defense. 『Kanezawa’s Sage』 and 『Kanezawa’s Saintess』 who both command the Kanezawa Liberation Army…I have no idea about their abilities, but they aren’t dumb at the very least.
Once again I shift my focus on watching through my smartphone how my subordinates fare in the battle unfolding over Ishikawa University.
Chapter 230 – Strife over Ishikawa University ⑦
~ Rina’s PoV ~
The battle for survival between humans and Demon King ― Aster Empire and the Kanezawa Liberation Army has started.
“Suiren! Attack the enemies approaching Takaharu’s corps from the left front!”
“As you wish, Rina-ane-sama! All of you, let’s gooo! ――《Fire Arrow》!”
My high pixie adjutant Suiren follows my order, firing countless fire arrows together with her pixie subordinates.
“Blue! We’re going to charge the enemies swarming Hibiki’s corps from the side!”
Leading my subordinates, I start an offensive against the enemies pushing against Hibiki, who’s posing while pointlessly exposing his body, and his orcs who have been clanking their shields. I mow down a human, who’s trying to swing his ax down on an orc, with my A rank sword Lævateinn ― not my sacred treasure, the Growth Sword.
“…A black-haired dhampir? How unusual.”
A man shouldering a great sword glances at me. I silently ready my sword.
“Hmm? The fact that you shouted orders earlier means you’re a bloodkin, right? I’ll have you croak here! ――《Power Smash》!”
The man swings his big sword down at me with all his might. An exchange of blows…is better to be avoided.
I dodge his sword’s blow by stepping backwards, and quickly slash Lævateinn at the man’s undefended torso.
“――gh!? W-What…? That…sword’s sharpness…is a cheat…isn’…”
Lævateinn cuts through his Mithril armor as easily as butter. Next I follow up with a sweep against the base of the man’s neck who’s staggering after having his torso cleaved open.
The friends and family I ought to protect live in the Aster Empire. Therefore I won’t waver anymore.
I keep brandishing my sword with that conviction at the humans, who used to be my kin and now have become my enemies.
――Rina! Red’s corps is under heavy pressure. Head over to reinforce them!
――Takaharu! Exterminate the humans flooding Hibiki!
――Layla! Hold your position to the last!
――Red! Don’t rush out too far! Don’t advance any further!
We begin to act in accordance with the orders Shion directly sends into our heads.
“Master…! Give me…give us Sklavenschweine your orders!”
――Hibiki, umm…do your best while making sure to not die.
“This tone full of cold-heartedness that can be perceived even through telepathy…thank you very much!! ――《Perfect Body》!”
“Blue, don’t look away!”
“He’s a terrifying being, even though he’s our ally ~ssu…”
I scold Blue and his goblins as they have their attention drawn to Hibiki who pulls off a side chest pose while glowing meaninglessly.
“Blue, do you wish to transfer to Hibiki’s corps?”
“W-W-Wh-…anything but that, please ~ssu! You bums, let’s go ~ssu!”
Blue raises his running speed to a new level, quickly heading for the humans squaring off against Red while leading his goblins.
The enemy isn’t weak by any account. As a matter of fact, I have lost many of my goblin subordinates. But, they’re not opponents we can’t beat!
I raise Lævateinn overhead, and launch an attack on a human fighting Red’s corps.
~ Kotetsu’s PoV ~
Hmm…Iron Shion. I’ve heard about him from Rina, but he’s definitely a splendid comrade to have at your side.
I admire Iron who had his corps form ranks in front of the university’s main gate, completely shutting out any enemy approach.
A solid durability, sophisticated shield techniques ― and above all, a devoted protection of his comrades according to Shion-sama’s orders without the slightest hint of fear. He’s a being who took the specialization of the role assigned to him to a grade of perfection that could be called flawless.
I have prepared myself for a certain extent of victims, seeing the scale of the battle which ought to be called war.
My adjutants are Yoichi Shion, a human and my disciple, the dhampir Kanetsugu Shion, and Setanta Shion. In addition to them, my corps contains another ten humans, and 990 dhampirs. I’ve been ordered by Shion-sama to come to terms with losses among the dhampirs. But, albeit only for a short time, they’re comrades who practiced together with me. I want to limit the losses to the absolute minimum, if possible.
I had assumed the devilish cycle of expending all 990 dhampirs in this battle, just to get a replenishment of another 990 dhampirs by Shion-sama, but..
“…I might be able to protect them.”
“Hmm, Did you say anything, Kotetsu-sama?” Yoichi reacts to the comment I let unconsciously slip.
“It’s nothing. Yoichi, Seta-boy…we’re going to eradicate the enemies swarming Iron-dono!”
“Kanetsugu, it’s an order to the dhampirs: Half is to back us up from behind with magic, and the other half is going to charge with us!”
“As you command.”
“I shall sally forth ― to protect my comrades and family ― to protect the Aster Empire!”
I grasp the hilt of my beloved sword Sayama, and launch an attack against a human being drawn towards Iron-dono.
The invisible slash unleashed after I swung down Sayama sends the arm of a human, who was about to swing his sword down on a living man, flying.
I take a wide step forward, and thrust Sayama’s point into the throat of a human.
“――! …G-Geezer? A-A devil, huh?”
Seeing me, the man, who’s next to the human that collapsed just now, kicks up a fuss.
“What a rude fellow you are…I’m a full-fledged human.”
“H-…Human, you say!? Why is a human siding with a Demon King ― our archenemy Demon King Shion!?”
“Because I’m going to protect what I want to protect.”
“What you want to protect…!? Is there anything you’d want to protect over human society!?”
“Of course. The Aster Empire which is ruled by my lord Shion-sama, as well as my family and comrades who are fighting together with me!”
“Don’t mess with me, you old, senile fooooooool!”
Hearing my reply, the man explodes in rage, raises his ax overhead, and closes in on me.
“I’m not messing with you. ――《Kogetsu》!”
I slash Sayama even faster than the approaching human can bring down his ax.
“…Guhaaa…t-tr…aitor…” The man collapses to the ground while spitting out curses at me with his dying breath.
“Traitor, huh…? If it’s for the sake of protecting those dear to me…I will gladly become the devil or a demon ― Yoichi! We’re going to annihilate the enemies!”
“Ahaha, Gramps Kotetsu, kill more enemies if you have the time to chatter!”
“You’ve got a point.” I smile wryly.
Suppress all human emotions and compassion. Kill whosoever stands in your way, even if it might be God or Buddha. 1
For the sake of protecting those precious to me, I turn into a fighting demon, readying Sayama to slay all enemies of the Aster Empire, and immediately start attacking the humans.